The SCI FI Channel is ending Stargate Atlantis after five seasons, the show will go on, though, with a 2-hour movie that will air on SCI FI in 2009, and be released on DVD by MGM. The film will be written by executive producers Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie.
It's intended to be the first of an on-going series of Atlantis movies, according to the report. Stargate SG-1 has released two very successful movies direct-to-DVD this year (Stargate: The Ark of Truth and Stargate: Continuum), though neither has aired on U.S. television yet.
"The show will live on as a network franchise," the report also says. This could indicate that future Atlantis movies are a lock for SCI FI, or it may be a general statement about the cable network's commitment to the Stargate franchise.
But fear not, there are plent of stories left to be told in the Stargate universe... the next series planned by the Stargate writers / producers is called Stargate Universe....
As the name may already hint at, the series will be set onboard a ship built by the Ancients. According to Stargate producer Brad Wright, who conceived of the third series with co-producer Robert C. Cooper, the ship was an experiment by the Ancients many years ago, but was abandoned after they ascended. Now it’s up to the Stargate team to finish the job.
The idea of Stargate Universe is that it is set on a ship that was part of an Ancient experiment that was set in motion probably millions of years ago, one that they never saw to fruition, but that we can,” Wright explains. “They got busy with the whole ascension thing.”
The experiment is “to send a ship across the universe, and to send one ahead of it to seed the galaxies with Stargates, and that they would one day use the ninth chevron to get there [to the ship]. And that’s what Stargate Universe is. Millions of years ago (before their conflict with the Wraith and possibly even before they moved Atlantis to the Pegasus Galaxy), the show would reveal, the Ancients sent out two ships: an automated vessel to place Stargates throughout multiple galaxies in our universe, and a second ship to follow up and explore.
A standard, 7-symbol gate address allows for travel within the same galaxy. Use of the Stargate’s eighth chevron allows for travel to a different galaxy. And the ninth chevron will allow the team to reach this second, still unmanned Ancient ship.
According to Cooper, Stargate Universe "maintains the spirit of Stargate, but opens up a whole new 'universe'."It is "a completely separate, third entity" as opposed to Stargate Atlantis, which was created as a spin-off from the first series Stargate SG-1. Like the first two series in the franchise, Stargate Universe will take place during the present time, not in the distant future.
The show will be "set on a ship that was part of an Ancient experiment" to seed the galaxies with Stargates millions of years ago but that was prematurely ended by the Ancients' ascension. After placing Stargates throughout multiple galaxies, a second ship would follow up and explore.
When a team of explorers from Earth find an Ancient unmanned ship called the Destiny and are unable to return to Earth, the crew must fend for themselves aboard the ship as it takes them to the far reaches of the universe. The basis of Stargate Universe is that the ninth and final chevron, the purpose of which was previously unknown, would serve to get to the first ship. The show will involve more space-based action than SG-1 or Atlantis.
Sci-Fi Channel's official Blurb
After unlocking the mystery of the Stargate's ninth chevron, a team of explorers travels to an unmanned starship called the Destiny, launched by The Ancients at the height of their civilization as a grand experiment set in motion, but never completed.
What starts as a simple reconnaissance turns into a never ending mission, as the Stargate Universe crew discovers the ship is unable to return to Earth, and they must now fend for themselves aboard the Destiny. The crew will travel to the far reaches of the universe, connecting with each of the previously launched Stargates, thus fulfilling the Destiny's original mission.
Challenges will arise though as the ship comes into range of Stargates placed centuries ahead of the Destiny, but only for a brief period of time before carrying on with its pre-programmed navigational schedule. If someone is left behind, there is no way to go back for them, adding to the drama of encountering new races, enemies and adventures.
A two-hour "Universe" movie will hit the channel in the first half of next year, followed by the series proper next summer.
Ok, while i'm a massive Stargate fan and will probably love this, i can't help but worry that they are turning Stargate into Star Trek...
the thing that made Stargate such an amazing and different series was the fact that it was something fresh and new that was based on bringing ancient mythology and history together with science fiction and science fact... the idea that they're just moving away from the entire mythology angle and are trapping people on board a space ship on the other side of the universe... well, that just screams Star Trek: Voyager to me...